We’re getting closer to WWE’s annual November tradition the Survivor Series, so today we’re taking a look back at another previous event! The 3rd annual Thanksgiving tradition the Survivor Series signifies more changes sweeping through the WWF as we head towards a new decade. Randy Savage is our new King after defeating Jim Duggan for the crown and Hulk Hogan is not involved in the main event for the first time in the WWF’s short pay-per-view history. That distinction would belong to the company’s fastest rising star, The Ultimate Warrior. New faces continue to blend in and get rubs from the established, while a legend in Tully Blanchard is quietly fired from the company, being forced to retire after a failed drug test. Our format is no longer 5 on 5, but now it’s 4 on 4 and the WWF has gotten rid of the dreaded 10 team match. So let’s head back to 1989, as the turn of the new decade is upon us!
Open: Hulk Hogan talks about what everyone is thankful for this year, stating that he’s mostly happy about Survivor Series and he’s thankful for his Hulkamaniacs. ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase is thankful because he’s rich. This continues with numerous WWF Superstars stating what they’re thankful for including ‘Macho King’ Randy Savage, Demolition, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper and more. Vince McMahon voices over a graphic running down the card for the night before we head to the arena.
Match #1 Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Enforcers (Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, ‘The Model’ Rick Martel & The Honky Tonk Man) w/’Colonel’ Jimmy Hart & Slick vs. The Dream Team (Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake, Tito Santana, The Red Rooster & ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes)
Tito & Honky Tonk will get things going, Martel grabs at Santana and HTM takes advantage with a shot from behind. He sends Tito into the ropes, ducks his head, Santana leap frogs over and delivers a right hand, slamming Honky and dropping another fist. He grabs an armbar, HTM backs him into the ropes to force the break, Tito ducks his head now and eats a kick, Martel tagging in.
The Model with right hands, Santana blocks and gets a side headlock, pushed off into the ropes, back and forth they go and Martel scores with a dropkick. He goes for an atomic drop, Santana blocks it and hits one of his own, grabs a schoolboy and gains a count of 2, all the team members enter the ring to a stand-off. Order is restored, The Model & Tito tie-up, Santana with a hammerlock, Martel breaks it with an elbow, tag to Boss Man and he walks right into an armdrag. Dusty gets the tag, unloads on Boss Man with lefts and rights, grabs a wristlock and Boss Man unleashes heavy right hands. The American Dream reverses a whip into the corner, plants an elbow between the eyes and brings in Brutus.
The Barber comes off the 2nd rope with a double axe to the shoulder, Boss Man goes to the eyes, then tags out to Honky Tonk. He snapmares Beefcake over, misses a fist drop and The Barber with shots to the breadbasket. The Model reaches out for the tag, clubs Brutus from behind and splits him with a backbreaker for a count of 2. Martel with a side headlock, Beefcake counters out, tags The Rooster and he shoots The Model into the ropes for a back body drop that gets a 2 count. Rooster whips Martel into the corner, charges in and meets a knee, HTM off the tag with a big right and some dancing.
He drives The Rooster into the turnbuckle, Boss Man back in and he pummels The Rooster into the mat. Rooster exchanges right hands with Boss Man, comes up on the short end of it and Boss Man rips at the eyes. The Model re-enters the match, maintaining control with a snapmare and multiple knee drops for a near fall. Rooster sneaks in a small package for 2, Martel quickly tags out to Honky Tonk and they prevent the tag. HTM whips Rooster into the ropes, ducks down and Rooster with a sunset flip for a 2 count. Honky Tonk with right hands, Rooster comes back with some of his own, into the ropes they go and they collide heads, both men crawling to their corners.
Martel & Tito get tags, Martel sends Santana into the ropes, ducks down, Tito hops over and scores with multiple dropkicks. He slams The Model, comes off the 2nd rope with an elbow, then whips him into the corner for a back body drop off the rebound. Tito calls for the Figure Four, Martel grabs a handful of hair to counter out of it, slams Santana and misses an elbow drop. Tito pushes him into the ropes from behind, rolls through into a pinning predicament, The Model switches the momentum and gets a 3 count. Tito Santana has been eliminated.
Dusty enters the ring, they tie-up, Martel backs him in the corner and Rhodes fights his way out of it, then hits a dropkick. He drops the Bionic Elbow, but only gets a count of 2 before tagging in Brutus. He hammers away at the shoulder, brings in The Rooster and he goes to a side headlock. Martel pushes him into the ropes, drops down, Rooster stops and grabs the side headlock again, taking Martel over. The Model powers up, breaking the hold with a back suplex into a backbreaker, Boss Man enters the match, shoots The Rooster into the ropes and hits a back elbow.
He shoots him in again, locks in a bearhug, Rooster with headbutts to break it, bites the forehead and Boss Man tags Bad News for the first time. The Rooster slingshots him in off the apron, sends him into the ropes for a knee lift, then whips him in again and ducks his head. Brown sees it and clubs away, driving Rooster into the top turnbuckle and grinding the forearm in the face. Bad News with more stiff right hands, whips Rooster in and drops him with a knife-edge chop. Brown draws Dusty into the ring to get the ref’s attention, Bad News holds The Rooster, Boss Man comes in and hits the ropes for a right hand, but Rooster moves and Brown gets drilled.
Boss Man tries to explain what happened, but Brown’s not hearing it. They start shoving each other, Honky Tonk & Martel try to mediate and Bad News takes a walk, leaving the ring and getting counted out. Bad News Brown has been eliminated. Beefcake tags in, Boss Man stays in the ring, Boss Man backing Brutus into the corner, The Barber ducks a right hand and unloads with a series of his own. He shoots Boss Man into the corner, charges in and meets a back elbow, Honky Tonk tagging in. He meets The Barber with right hands, plants him with a back suplex and gain a count of 2, goes to the eyes and reigns down right hands from the 2nd rope in the corner.
Brutus starts to block right hands, fires back with some of his own, HTM goes to the eyes again, The Barber reverses a whip into the ropes, hits a high knee and covers for the pinfall. The Honky Tonk Man has been eliminated. The Model jumps Beefcake after the fall, unleashes a fury in the corner, then chokes him on the canvas before grabbing a rear chinlock. The Barber battles to his feet, hits the ropes and knocks Martel down with the shoulder, hits them again and meets a knee to the midsection. The Model with a backbreaker, Beefcake rolls to the apron and gets rammed head-first into the turnbuckle.
Brutus comes back with a knee to the midsection, sunset flip back in the ring, Martel drops down and grabs the ropes, the ref counts 2 and sees Martel is using the ropes. The Barber rolls The Model through into a cover and picks up the 3 count. ‘The Model’ Rick Martel has been eliminated. Boss Man is left by himself now, he ambushes Beefcake, but The Barber falls into a tag to The Rooster. Boss Man with a flurry of right hands in the corner, whips Rooster across and charges in for a splash, but misses. The Rooster hits the ropes for a flying forearm, hits them again for another and gets caught in a Boss Man Slam to get eliminated. The Red Rooster has been eliminated.
The American Dream steps in with right hands, tag to Beefcake for more heavy artillery, Boss Man reverses a whip into the ropes, ducks his head and takes a kick. Rhodes back in for more right hands, Boss Man goes to the eyes, shoots Dusty in and misses a clothesline, The Dream coming through on the other side with a crossbody, covers and gets the win.
Winners & Sole Survivors: Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake & ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes
- After The Bell: Slick hands the nightstick to Boss Man and he attacks Beefcake and Rhodes. The Barber gets dumped to the outside, Slick pulls out the cuffs and Boss Man handcuffs Dusty to the top rope. He takes out the referee, then continues to unload on The Dream, busting him open until Brutus hits the ring with his clippers. Sean Mooneycatches up with Boss Man & Slick in the back, Boss Man talking about how Dusty is a thief and now’s he is his prisoner. This is just the beginning. Slick states that Boss Man just showed what kind of a man he is, going 3 on 1 at the end of the match.
- EA’s Take: I already like the 4 on 4 format, it’s still a bit of a cluster, but better than the 5 on 5 deal. Dusty is way over and Boss Man’s attack and feud with Rhodes would legitimize him as a singles competitor. He gained great heat for the assault on The Dream, however it was all for not as his character would undergo a change of heart early in the new decade.
Backstage: Gene Okerlund is joined by The 4×4’s and their team captain ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan. They all are carrying 2×4’s, Hitman says this is their finest hour. Ronnie Garvin has a personal score to settle with Greg Valentine, Hercules doesn’t foresee any problems. Duggan states his team is ready for anything and Randy Savage is in for a long night.
Match #2 Survivor Series Elimination Match: The King’s Court (‘Macho King’ Randy Savage, Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine, Dino Bravo & The Canadian Earthquake) w/Queen Sherri & ‘Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The 4×4’s (‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, ‘Rugged’ Ronnie Garvin, Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart & Hercules)
Hacksaw chases Savage out of the ring, Macho is distracted by some fans at ringside, Duggan out after him with a big right hand, then tosses him inside where Hercules is waiting. Herc shoots Macho in for a clothesline, tosses him with a military press slam and Valentine gets the tag. They exchange shots, Hercules whips him into the ropes, ducks a shot and hits an atomic drop, then utilizes a wristlock. Hitman maintaining control of the arm off the tag, brings in Duggan and he drives The Hammer shoulder-first into the turnbuckles. Garvin enters the match with chops to the chest, sends Valentine into the ropes and locks in a sleeper hold.
The Hammer falls towards his corner to tag Dino, picks Garvin’s leg and The Canadian Strongman takes the advantage with stomps. He splits Garvin with an inverted atomic drop, lays him out with a right hand and goes for an elbow drop, but misses. Garvin gets the tag to Herc, entering the squared circles with heavy rights and lefts, hits the ropes for a knee lift and levels Bravo with multiple clotheslines. Dino reverses a whip into the corner, Hercules falls flat after hitting the turnbuckles sternum-first, Earthquake gets the tag and connects with the Earthquake Splash to get a 3 count. Hercules has been eliminated. Duggan takes the ring, locking up with Earthquake and getting backed into the ropes. Quake whips him into the ropes, Hacksaw ducks a clothesline and collides shoulders with the big man.
Duggan hits the ropes again for a shoulder that has no affect, tries once more and Hitman comes in to help take Earthquake off his feet. Rugged Ronnie back in to drop stiff right hands, falls on top and gets a count of 2. Earthquake is able to tag Dino, shoots Garvin in and hits a boot to the midsection before bringing in The Hammer. Valentine dropping a forearm and then a knee for 2, then a headbutt to the midsection. He looks to put on the Figure Four, Garvin kicks him off into the turnbuckles, grabs a schoolboy and gains a near fall. The Hammer is able to prevent the tag, Savage comes in off the top with a double axe handle, following with a knee drop for a 2 count and tagging out to Dino.
The Canadian Strongman pummels Rugged Ronnie to the mat, attempts a snapmare and Garvin counters into a backslide for a near fall. Macho back in the match, unloading with left hands in the corner, Valentine enters with stiff chops and Garvin responds with some of his own. Valentine goes to the midsection, Duggan with a blind tag, Rugged Ronnie reverses an irish whip into the ropes, misses a clothesline, but Hacksaw is behind him in the 3 point stance, flattening The Hammer with a clothesline and getting the 1-2-3. Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine has been eliminated. Bravo jumps Hacksaw from behind, pounding away with right hands and choking in the corner. Macho King comes in, hanging Duggan throat-first on the top rope and covering for a 2 count.
Earthquake back in, unloading on Hacksaw in the corner, slams him and hits the ropes for an elbow drop, Duggan rolling out of the way. Garvin gets the tag, Dino in on the other side and Rugged Ronnie with chops and a headbutt for him. He unleashes the Garvin Stomp on Dino, looks for a sharpshooter and Bravo goes to the eyes to escape, making the tag to Savage. Hitman gets the tag across the ring, Macho goes to the eyes, tries to ram Bret into the turnbuckles, Hitman countering and giving Savage a taste of his own medicine. Bret with an inverted atomic drop, stomps at the midsection and Macho King squirms to his corner to tag Dino. Collar & elbow tie-up, Hitman backs Bravo into his corner, snapmares him over and drops an elbow from the 2nd rope for a count of 2.
Rugged Ronnie gets the tag, Bravo reverses an irish whip into the ropes, catches Garvin with the Side Slam and that’s all for him. ‘Rugged’ Ronnie Garvin has been eliminated. Hacksaw steps in after the elimination, Earthquake enters the ring, Duggan backs him into the corner and reigns down right hands from the 2nd rope. Hitman off the tag, they drop Quake with a double team clothesline and he smartly tags out to Macho King. Savage gets too close to the wrong corner, Duggan grabs him and makes him eat some right hands, Bret taking advantage, shooting Macho in and burying a boot to the breadbasket. Savage gets tied-up in the ropes, Hitman distracting the ref and Hacksaw chokes Savage behind the ref’s back.
The referee unties Macho King, he goes to the eyes of Hitman, snapmares him over for a knee drop and misses. Bret splits Macho with a backbreaker for a 2 count, then puts him in a small package for another 2. Savage reverses a whip into the corner, charges in and meets an uppercut, Hitman to the 2nd rope for an elbow drop and Macho King rolls away. He crawls to tag Bravo, Dino slamming Bret and hitting an elbow drop, then utilizes a bearhug. Bret goes to the eyes to break it, but immediately gets dropped and Quake tags in, lifting Hitman in a choke and planting him into the canvas. Earthquake drops an elbow for a near fall, The Canadian Strongman back in, goes for an irish whip and Bret stops it with a right hand, but can’t take advantage.
Dino backs Bret into the corner, pummeling away before bringing Macho in, Bravo holds Hitman from the apron, Savage hits the ropes for a jumping knee and Bret avoids it, Dino taking it in the face and getting dropped on the apron. Hacksaw gets the hot tag, flattening Savage with clotheslines, slams him and tries to follow with an elbow drop, but misses. Savage backs Duggan into the wrong corner, Bret tags himself in and gets caught by the hair, then driven into Bravo’s boot on the apron. Dino tags in, Bret reverses a whip into the corner, rushes in and Bravo side-steps it, Hitman ramming his shoulder into the ring post.
The Canadian Strongman lands a shoulder breaker, tag to Macho King, he scales the corner and connects with the top rope elbow drop for the pinfall. Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart has been eliminated. Duggan is left all alone with a 3 on 1 disadvantage. Earthquake tags in, locking up with Hacksaw and backing him in the corner, unloading with knees to the midsection and clubbing shots. Quake gets a head of steam for a corner splash, Duggan avoids it, sees Savage coming in off the top rope and buries a right hand to the midsection. Dino hits the ring and gets back body dropped, Hacksaw ramming both of them into Earthquake and clearing the ring by himself. Order is restored, Savage steps in and goes to the eyes, Bravo enters for a double team attempt, Hacksaw with a double clothesline of his own, but then gets leveled by Earthquake from behind, as he was the legal man.
He punishes Duggan with clubbing shots, slams him and drops an elbow for a near fall. Dino in legally now, shoots Duggan in for a boot to the breadbasket, then brings in Macho for a double axe off the top and a 2 count. Macho King looks for a running senton on the 2nd rope, Hacksaw avoids it, fires a right hand and hits an atomic drop. Dino comes in to distract the ref, Duggan hits the ropes and Sherri pulls them down, causing Hacksaw to fall out to the floor. Quake drops a double axe from the apron behind the ref’s back, the referee turns around and counts to 10.
Winners & Sole Survivors: ‘Macho King’ Randy Savage, Dino Bravo & The Canadian Earthquake
- After The Bell: Hacksaw grabs his 2×4, clobbering Dino Bravo and Macho King from behind while they’re celebrating.
- EA’s Take: The big takeaway from this contest was how much crisper and cleaner it felt, which should come as no surprise with Randy Savage as a participant, known for his attention and overanalyzation of his matches. Canadian Earthquake is a brand-new face in the WWF, taking the place of Barry Windham (who had just returned to the NWA) as a member of Savage’s team. Quake is a former sumo star that was brought in (kayfabe) by Dino Bravo. His size and agility would make him a top contender very quickly. Also, you’ll notice that Bret Hart is not paired with The Anvil tonight, as WWF was looking at Bret as a singles star for the first time. The run would be short-lived, but Hitman would earn high praise from the likes of Andre The Giant and others, something the company would not forget in a couple years time.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is outside the medical room for an update on Dusty Rhodes. Talk right now is that there’s possibly bruised ribs and a concussion.
In The Arena: The Genius blesses us with a special Thanksgiving poem, telling the fans they should give thanks for him being the world’s smartest man.
Match #3 Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Million Dollar Team (‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase, The Powers Of Pain (The Barbarian & The Warlord) & Zeus) w/Mr. Fuji vs. The Hulkamaniacs (Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition (Ax & Smash) & WWF Champion Hulk Hogan)
Roberts & Zeus kick off the action, Zeus wants Hogan instead and the champion gets the tag. There’s pushing and shoving, Hulk hits the ropes for a shoulder knockdown and falls to the canvas himself. Hogan tries a new strategy, hitting boots and right hands, hits the ropes for a clothesline, then a high knee and none of it has any affect. Hulkster with more right hands and a slam, Zeus hops right back to his feet, Hogan hits the ropes again and Smash with a cheap shot from the apron.
Zeus twists the champion’s neck, choking him on the mat and then shoving the referee away for trying to break the choke. He won’t let go of it, shoves the ref again and gets himself disqualified. Zeus has been eliminated. The Million Dollar Team finally gets Zeus off of Hogan, getting him to make his exit after leaving Hulk laying. DiBiase takes the ring, dropping knees on the champion and choking him on the 2nd rope, then the top. MDM drives Hogan into the top turnbuckle, firing away with right hands and chops in the corner, whips him across and charges in, meeting the champion’s boot. Roberts gets the tag and DiBiase tries to back off, The Snake unloading with lefts and rights in the corner, shoots MDM across hard into the turnbuckles and clotheslines him to the outside.
The Snake follows him out, MDM looks to ram him into the ring post, but gets pushed off and meets the steel himself. Back inside Jake tags to Ax, pummeling DiBiase into the canvas with clubbing shots and bringing in Smash for more of the same. Smash rams DiBiase into the turnbuckle, tag to Hogan and he comes off the 2nd rope with a double axe handle, then pounds MDM into the mat along with Demolition. The champion with heavy rights, whips DiBiase into the corner and follows in with a back elbow before bringing Ax back. He sends MDM into the ropes for a clothesline that gets a 2 count, shoots DiBiase in again for another, MDM ducks it and lays Ax out with a back elbow.
Warlord gets the tag, clubbing away at Ax, tag to Barbarian now and he drives a headbutt into the ribs. He hoists Ax for a shoulder breaker, climbs to the 2nd rope for an elbow drop, but misses. Barbarian reaches Warlord to prevent Ax from tagging out, sends him into the corner, charges in and Ax with a back elbow, following out of the corner with a clothesline. He hits the ropes, Fuji trips him and Warlord drops an elbow, covers and gets the elimination. Ax has been eliminated.
Smash jumps right in and pounds away at the back of the Warlord, shoots him into the ropes and buries a right hand to the midsection. Hulkster tags in, more right hands, whips Warlord into the ropes for a clothesline, then slams him and brings in Jake. The Snake goes to a wristlock, ducking Warlord’s right hands and quick tags out to Smash, maintaining control with a wristlock. Warlord breaks it with a right, sends him into the ropes, drops down and Smash stops, clubbing at Warlord’s back. Smash goes for a backbreaker, Warlord avoids it with a thumb to the eye and tags his partner Barbarian.
He sends Smash into the ropes, ducks his head and Smash sees it dropping a forearm. Barbarian looks for a boot, Smash catches the foot, drops Barbarian to the mat, but misses a follow-up elbow drop. The Barbarian drops Smash with a big boot, tag to DiBiase who comes off the 2nd rope with a double axe handle, hitting multiple fist drops for a count of 2. The MDM goes to a chinlock to wear him out, Smash fights to a vertical base, DiBiase goes to the eyes and slams him. MDM attempts a falling back elbow from the 2nd rope, Smash rolls out of the way, whips DiBiase into the ropes, Barbarian with a blind tag as MDM gets hung across the top rope.
Barbarian comes off the top with a clothesline, covers Smash and gets a 3 count. Smash has been eliminated. The Snake is quick to come in and drop Barbarian with right hands, calls for the DDT and Barbarian counters out, then misses an elbow drop. Roberts wants the DDT again, Barbarian powers him backwards into his corner, Warlord makes the tag and whips Jake hard into the turnbuckles, then again. Barbarian back in off the tag, following Warlord’s lead with a hard irish whip, drops a headbutt to the lower back and splits The Snake with a backbreaker. Warlord re-enters, another hard whip into the corner and DiBiase wants some, delivering a cheap shot to Hogan, which allows a double team on the other side of the ring.
MDM drops knees to Roberts’ back, spikes him with a piledriver, but Jake gets a foot on the bottom rope to break the count at 2. Barbarian back in to drop another headbutt to the midsection, scales the corner to the top rope and misses a diving headbutt. Roberts crawls to a tag, Hogan unleashing right hands on everybody, shoots Barbarian into the ropes for a clothesline and follows with multiple elbow drops for a 2 count. Hulkster with a vertical suplex for another 2, MDM distracts the ref, allowing Warlord to come in and double team Hogan. Powers Of Pain send Hulk into the ropes, Hogan counters with a double clothesline, but the double team continues.
The Powers Of Pain plant the champion with a spike piledriver, the ref disqualifying them for not leaving the ring. The Warlord & The Barbarian have been eliminated. The Million Dollar Man is left by himself now, but Roberts and Hogan are both laid out. DiBiase drives knees into the spine of the champion, then slaps on The Million Dollar Dream, taking Hulk down to the mat as he fades out. The ref checks the arm, The Snake comes in to make the save, DiBiase breaking the hold and going right back to it. The champion backs MDM into the corner to break the hold, DiBiase to the 2nd rope and gets caught coming down with a right hand to the breadbasket.
Roberts gets the tag, lefts and rights in the corner, shoots DiBiase across and hits a back body drop off the rebound. The Snake hangs MDM on the top rope, drives a series of knees to the back of the head and flattens him with a short-arm clothesline. Jake calls for the DDT, Virgil runs down to ringside and hops on the apron to create a distraction, Roberts pulls him into the ring and spikes him with a DDT. DiBiase takes advantage with a fist drop, covers, using the ropes for leverage and he gets the 1-2-3. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts has been eliminated.
We’re down to one on one now with Hogan laid out on the apron, DiBiase rolling Virgil out of the ring and punishing the champion with knees to the back. MDM sends Hulk into the ropes and levels him with a clothesline for a count of 2, then utilizes a rear chinlock. The Hulkster battles to his feet, breaks the hold with elbows to the ribs, hits the ropes and scores with a shoulder knockdown. Back into the ropes, MDM drops down and they both go down after a double clothesline.
They struggle to their feet, Hulk goes for an atomic drop, DiBiase counters and plants him with a back suplex. It has no affect on the champion, he unloads with right hands, shoots DiBiase in for the big boot, following with the leg drop to finish it.
Winner & Sole Survivor: Hulk Hogan
- EA’s Take: A lot of big, sluggish brutes in this one, Zeus being eliminated super early because the guy can’t work a match to save his life. Demolition and The Powers Of Pain don’t exactly have the most technical offenses either, although The Barbarian can put a little bit together. This would serve as the finale for the rivalry between Jake Roberts & Ted DiBiase, but unfortunately it wouldn’t be for Zeus & Hogan. They’d meet one more time in a television special that saw a SummerSlam rematch, but this time in a steel cage in which Hogan & Beefcake were victorious. Zeus would leave the WWF and head back to Hollywood, which is where he should have stayed in the first place.